Day 37 : Moussaka (vegetarian)

When my sister says she likes it as much as Thai curry then you know it is a seriously good dish! She couldn’t tell that it was made from soya granules- no one can possibly distinguish it from normal keema / mince. It was her idea to add the mushroom cube – a trick she learned while cooking.

Ingredients

1. 1 large round eggplant

2. 6 medium size tomatoes

3. 2 medium onions chopped

4. 3- 4 medium potatoes

5. 1 cup soya granules

6. 2 tbsp chopped cloves garlic

7. 2/3 tsp salt

8. 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder

9. Pinch of cinnamon powder

10. Pinch of chilli powder

11. 1/2 mushroom cube*

12. 2 bay leaves

13. 3-4 tbsp of oil

14. 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella shredded

15. 2 tbsp of cream

16. 1 1/2-2 cups bechamel sauce

*or beef cube to enhance the flavour

For the bechamel sauce, you can refer to day 35 (without corn and mushroom)

Method to grill the eggplant

1. Cut the eggplant into thin, round slices (just like you would cut a tomato)

2. Dab a dot of oil and salt on each slice so that it does not turn dark

3. Brush the base of a pan or grill with olive oil. Arrange the slices in a way that it fits but with enough space to turn each over.

4. Put it on medium heat and turn after 3 minutes (3 minutes on each side) It gets a slightly charred look and it is firm to touch but cooked.

5. Do the whole batch and keep it aside on a tray or platter.

Method to grill the potatoes

1. Wash and boil potatoes in a pressure cooker or a pot. Put enough water so that it covers it more than sufficiently.

2. Cook it till it is half done. Check after 10 minutes – the fork should go in but it should still be a bit firm.

3. Take it out and let it cool. Put it into the fridge for half an hour before slicing it into thin round discs.

4. Take a heavy based pan and put 1 tbsp of oil on medium heat. Then add the potato discs one at a time so it’s spread evenly across the pan

5. Flip the sides after 2-3 minutes or after it becomes golden brown and crispy.

Method to make the main filling with soya granules

1. Wash the tomatoes and then put them in spot of boiling water. Let it boil for 6-8 minutes, remove and let it cool before removing the skin. Then blend the tomatoes in a mixie. Add 1 tbsp of water to ensure it blends smoothly.

2. Soak the soya granules for 20 min in a saucepan filled with hot water. Soya granules will soften and expand so there should be sufficient water. Drain and keep aside.

To make the tomato base sauce for the soya

1. In the meanwhile, put a heavy based pot on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and chopped garlic.

2. Stir for 1 minute before adding the onions. Stir for 2 minutes.

3. Now add the blended tomatoes and stir for 6-7 min, reduce heat and add 1/4 tsp salt and leave it to cook for another 10 minutes.

To make the soya filling

1. Take a wok. Put 1 tbsp oil on medium heat and then add 1 tbsp of chopped garlic and stir till it turns light brown (approx 2-3 minutes)

2. Add the bay leaves and the onions and stir till it turns brown (approx 4-5 minutes).

3. Add the soaked and drained soya granules. Add 1/3 tsp salt, nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder, chilli powder and the mushroom cube. Stir for 3-4 minutes

5. Add the tomato based sauce to the soya and stir gently for 3-5 minutes so that it’s nicely mixed.

For the layering

1. Take a square Pyrex dish

2. Pour a bit of the bechamel sauce on the base. This will ensure that the moussaka does not dry out at the bottom when baked.

3. Layer with the grilled eggplant. Do not overlap. And don’t worry if there are gaps.

4. Layer with grilled potatoes.

5. Now pour a bit of the béchamel sauce so to coat the potatoes.

6. Next, layer with the soya filling, spread it evenly.

7. Repeat with layering the layering process one full round more at least.

8. The top layer should be bechamel sauce.

9. Put the shredded mozzarella all over on top.

10. Add the cream to the sides of the dish and a bit like dots all over as well.

11. Put in the oven at 180C for 30 min and then only on grill mode for 5-6 minutes for the top to get grilled.

12. Be careful , wear oven gloves. It will be very hot.

Enjoy!

7 thoughts on “Day 37 : Moussaka (vegetarian)

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